A couple of weeks ago I had a coffee with a very talented photographer who was struggling to write the copy for her website. Looking through her portfolio, I could see that without doubt she had an ability to capture the heart and soul of her subjects – whether they be people or their pets. In fact, she made this an art form, and the end results were stunning photographs that were natural, free flowing and beautifully shot.
But….at the end of the day, she is still “just” a photographer. She still goes out, like every other photographer, with her camera, lighting equipment and reflector, and takes photos.
So how does she tell the world that she’s different? That she has a deeper way of taking photographs, that she actually captures their soul?
I come across this with complementary therapists too. With a massage couch, a good base (massage) oil, maybe some essential oils, a good pair of hands and expert technique, then why is one complementary therapist any better or different from any other? Why should I visit Therapist A as opposed to Therapist B?
And, I guess the same could be said for your industry – fundamentally you probably do the same “functionally” as everyone else in your profession. So how DO you communicate your difference? That bit of added extra that only you can bring to the party?
Well, what I suggest is to immediately STOP trying to “write copy”. Stop trying to write in marketing-ese…stop trying to make it perfect for your website, or brochure or wherever.
Instead, find yourself a quiet spot, one where you won’t be interrupted. One where there are no phones ringing, emails pinging, tweets whistling at you or texts buzzing in. A spot clear of day to day “stuff” so that you won’t get distracted. A spot that makes you feel calm and clear headed.
To your spot take pen and paper. Yep, a real pen with ink (go the whole hog and get a proper fountain pen) and a beautiful notebook which has quality white paper in it. Why? Because firstly there’s a complete joy to be had in writing on quality paper. (I speak as an officiando of all things stationery!!) Secondly because there’s a connection between the pen in your hand and the voice inside you that’s trying to speak.
There’s something about writing with a pen on paper that allows words to flow out of you in a way that doesn’t quite happen on a keyboard.
So, hence I’m advising you to create that clear space and allow that flow to happen.
Sit down in your quiet spot with your pen and paper, have a glass of water by your side (not tea or coffee: caffeine is a neuro-transmitter and affects the brain; water clears and refreshes brain and body), and ask yourself some questions.
Questions such as:
- Who am I?
- What is my vision for my business?
- What do I want to do for my clients?
- Who am I helping?
- What do they get out of me helping them / taking photos of them / massaging them / being their accountant?
- What makes my heart sing in my work? What brings me joy?
- What do I love so much I would do it for free?
- What is MY place on this planet?
Whilst you ask yourself these questions, just allow yourself to write. Go into a place deep inside you. These answers come from the solar plexus , or even deeper from the bottom of your stomach, so allow yourself to focus in on those areas.
Don’t think about the answers. Just write. Let the words flow out of you. Don’t correct them, or rubbish them, or think they’re silly, or naff, or ridiculous. Don’t worry about grammar, or spelling, or whether it makes particular sense. Allow that connection between pen, paper and your inner soul to bring the words out of you.
Don’t go back and correct, but do work through the questions. And if an answer to one brings up additional words for another, then that’s OK, you can add them to that answer.
You will know when you have finished. You will feel a sense of calmness and that you have no words left.
When you have got to that stage, close your book and leave it for a day or so.
Then you can go back, and tidy up your words. That’s the stage when you can put them into proper sentences with correct grammar. That’s the stage you can make sure your words are legal, decent, honest and truthful.
For instance, if you are a complementary therapist, you are very likely able to cure your clients ills and ailments. And if that’s what you have written as your “soul” answer, then that’s fine. However, legally you are not allowed to say that on your website or marketing literature, so you will have to amend the words so that they don’t fall foul of the law.
Once you have tidied up your words, you will find that you have captured that special something that only you do. Then you can put the words onto your website, marketing materials, or into your elevator pitch at networking meetings.
Humans respond to emotion, so don’t worry about showing soul or emotion in your writing. You want people to respond to you and to buy in to what you do. You want them to connect with you and feel like you’re “the one” for them. You want them to see and feel your difference.
And if some people don’t respond to you? Pah! Leave them! You don’t want them anyway. The clients you want and need are the one who connect with you.
I hope that helps.
If you would like insightful and intuitive help to bring this out of you, do call me on 01452 223306 to discuss how one of my coaching programmes may make all the difference to you.
See you next week,
Dedicated to your success,